Training on open governance and digital capacity building for local governments
Yesterday on 17 November, the e-Governance Academy started a training project on open governance and digital capacity building for municipality leaders and officials of Estonia. The project includes eight workshops that will be held across Estonia. The first workshop took place in Tartu County with more than 22 participants.
The aim of the workshops is to encourage and inspire municipality leaders to use digital solutions for more citizen-centred and inclusive governance.
Photo: Kristina Reinsalu
According to Kristina Reinsalu, one of the organizers of the workshop well designed and executed citizen engagement is the key to developing sustainable local life. „Citizens of today are not happy by being bystanders – they are asking for opportunities and showing a willingness to take part in decision making. Citizens want to have a word in budgetary issues, urban planning, civil and social rights – and digital tools can foster it, ” she said.
“Estonian local municipalities are providing a number of e-services, but the (digital) engagement of citizens needs more attention. Sharing good examples and inspiration in the workshop facilitates the use of good engagement practices in Estonian municipalities,” she added.
Photo: Workshop for municipality leaders and officials
During the first training in Tartu County, the experts of the e-Governance Academy introduced the main topics of open governance, the results of previous projects and research, and the research conducted within the project, which revealed the current concerns. According to the representatives of the local governments who participated in the survey, they feel difficulties in establishing and maintaining dialogue and cooperating with the residents and communities well enough. The skills of the population to use e-services and e-participation opportunities were assessed as satisfactory.
Photo: Randel Länts
The experience stories of Elva and Tartu municipalities on how the problems of open government have been solved with various digital solutions provided participants with inspiration and practical advice. For example, Elva uses an app to communicate with residents, Tartu municipality presents spatial information more actively through a geoportal.
Photo: Participants of the workshop
Based on the inspiration and experience gained, the participants wrote down possible new open government activities. As homework, the participants have to specify the activities and outline their open government action plan of the municipality for four years. The participants will introduce the planned activities and the implementation plan at the follow-up webinar, which will take place on 2 December.
In 2022, the e-Governance Academy will conduct five more open government workshops for local governments and in 2023 two workshops.
The workshop is funded by the European Social Fund under the activity “Human Resource Training and Development”.